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Hawaii

Moving Your Pet to Hawaii – The Complete Guide

You’ve decided to move to Hawaii, and when you start thinking about it, realize you’ll need to bring your pet with you. Now what? Where do you begin? For starters, it is important to know what animals are allowed in Hawaii, what animals are prohibited, and what the rules are for bringing them, so you can make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for both you and your pet. By law, all pets coming into Hawaii must meet the requirements for the pet quarantine program.

Pet owners have 3 options for bringing a pet to Hawaii:

1. Direct Airport Release
2. 5 Day-or-Less Program
3. Full 120-Day (4 Month) Quarantine

Note: Any pet qualified for the 5 Day program is qualified for Direct Airport Release.

Why the strict rules? Hawaii is the only state in the nation that is rabies-free – and we want to keep it that way. Introducing rabies to our state and its fragile ecosystem would change the State of Hawaii as we know it. Please understand that these rules and requirements are for the protection of our beautiful islands, and the animals and people that reside here.

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Loving the Hawaii Life!

Below is the table of contents for the Moving Your Pet to Hawaii Guide:

How to Move Your Pet to Hawaii (5 Day-or-Less Program Checklist)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Moving Pets to Hawaii

  1. How much does it cost to move pets to Hawaii?
  2. Is there an age requirement for pets moving to Hawaii?
  3. Are there any pets that shouldn’t be transported to Hawaii?
  4. What is the best way to transport pets to Hawaii?
  5. Where do pets fly in the aircraft?
  6. What is Direct Airport Release and the 5 Day-or-Less Program, and what’s the difference between them?
  7. Can my pets be housed together for the 5 Day-or-Less Program?
  8. Where is the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility on Oahu?
  9. What are the airline requirements for pet kennels?
  10. What are the requirements for moving other animals to Hawaii, like rabbits, birds, horses, etc.?
  11. Do any companies offer to help with the Hawaii pet relocation process?

Helpful Tips for Moving Your Pet to Hawaii

Hawaii Pet Quarantine Contact Information

Special Exemptions for Hawaii Pet Quarantine

1. Animals from specific rabies-free countries (dogs and cats from New Zealand, Australia, Guam, and the British Isles) that are on a direct flight to Hawaii do not require an import permit number, which means they do not need to complete the standard requirements.

Be sure to review the checklist for importing these animals before booking your flight to Hawaii. If you are moving to Hawaii from one of these countries and they require an import permit number in order to export your pet, please contact the Animal Quarantine Station at (808) 483-7151, or email rabiesfree@hawaii.gov.

2. Service and guide dogs have modified quarantine requirements for entering the State of Hawaii, so if this applies to you, be sure to inquire before arrival. Service and guide dogs typically get to fly for free, so make sure you ask, and if applicable, don’t get charged by your airline.

After the Move

Whether you’re playing fetch with your dog on a sandy beach, or simply buying your cat some new toys at the local pet store, owning a pet is a great way to meet new people when you’re in Hawaii. There are plenty of pet-friendly places to visit and plenty of tropical areas to explore.

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Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?

When all is said and done, when your whole family is back together again, and moving your pet to Hawaii is just a memory, you’ll see why it was all worth it; you’ll be ready to enjoy your new Hawaii Life.

Additional Resources

Moving to Hawaii: The Ultimate Guide to Shipping Your Belongings

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Karin Mendoza

March 22, 2017

Loved the pet guide….some day I will have a blue healer and lots of land…A perfect moment!
Me and “MY BLUE” … He may have to be imported for that special “runt of the litter”… Mahalo Moana, very informative…

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Sounds good! Thank you for reading.

Karin Mendoza

March 22, 2017

Loved the pet guide….some day I will have a blue healer and lots of land…A perfect moment!
Me and “MY BLUE” … He may have to be imported for that special “runt of the litter”… Mahalo Moana, very informative…

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Someday! Thanks for reading, Mom!

Kelly Heiman

March 22, 2017

Aloha~
What a great and informational article, thank you! I wanted to add my contact information as well, I have a designated direct release phone line 808-446-1521, available 7-days a week or email kelly@westmauianimalclinic.com.
I release pets at the Kahului airport on Maui daily, and am happy to assist with any and all questions, even if you plan to fly to another island, I am still happy to assist…No pets left behind. I offer my services to release pets 7-days a week and 24-hours a day, so no time or day restrictions on my end.
Thanks again for the great article.
Kelly Heiman
Central/West Maui Animal Clinic
Program Director

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Thank you, Kelly! Much appreciated.

Kelly Heiman

March 22, 2017

Aloha~
What a great and informational article, thank you! I wanted to add my contact information as well, I have a designated direct release phone line 808-446-1521, available 7-days a week or email kelly@westmauianimalclinic.com.
I release pets at the Kahului airport on Maui daily, and am happy to assist with any and all questions, even if you plan to fly to another island, I am still happy to assist…No pets left behind. I offer my services to release pets 7-days a week and 24-hours a day, so no time or day restrictions on my end.
Thanks again for the great article.
Kelly Heiman
Central/West Maui Animal Clinic
Program Director

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Thank you, Kelly! Much appreciated.

Loyce Henderson

March 22, 2017

We are relocating to Kona, HI. We have 4 birds, 2 CAGs and 2 Rosie’s. I have been everywhere trying to find the fees for the Plant Quarantine Import Permit and the Poultry and Bird Permit. I can find the fees for our dog, but the birds are a different matter. HDOA does not list the fees on their site.
My questions are: Can I put all four birds on the Plant Quarantine Permit application or do they have to go on their own application forms? Do I or does my vet apply for the Poultry and Bird Permit? Again what are the fees for both?
This is so very frustrating, but I cannot afford to use a pet relocation service.

Thank you for all your help I so appreciate it.

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Loyce,

I am looking into this and will have an answer for you soon.

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Loyce,

Here are the answers to your questions:

1. Yes, all birds may be included on your Import permit with the Plant Quarantine Branch (ph. 808-832-0566) at a one time shipment of $20.00.

2. The poultry and bird import permit (ph. 808-837-8092) will be administered by your vet through the Livestock Disease Control Branch at no cost.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I’m happy to help.

Loyce Henderson

March 22, 2017

We are relocating to Kona, HI. We have 4 birds, 2 CAGs and 2 Rosie’s. I have been everywhere trying to find the fees for the Plant Quarantine Import Permit and the Poultry and Bird Permit. I can find the fees for our dog, but the birds are a different matter. HDOA does not list the fees on their site.
My questions are: Can I put all four birds on the Plant Quarantine Permit application or do they have to go on their own application forms? Do I or does my vet apply for the Poultry and Bird Permit? Again what are the fees for both?
This is so very frustrating, but I cannot afford to use a pet relocation service.

Thank you for all your help I so appreciate it.

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Loyce,

I am looking into this and will have an answer for you soon.

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Loyce,

Here are the answers to your questions:

1. Yes, all birds may be included on your Import permit with the Plant Quarantine Branch (ph. 808-832-0566) at a one time shipment of $20.00.

2. The poultry and bird import permit (ph. 808-837-8092) will be administered by your vet through the Livestock Disease Control Branch at no cost.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I’m happy to help.

Lori Hughes

March 22, 2017

Hi Moana, love your article … thank you so much. I’m trying to find information about how to also move my Beta fish to Hawaii (Big Island) and so far not having much luck. Any suggestions/sites for information about how I can do this that you can recommend? I’d be grateful. Thank you!

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Lori,

It looks like you can either mail your fish or possibly carry it with you on the airplane if you would like to. I believe you will need an Import Permit and have to pay some fees. The Betta fish is on the List of Conditionally Approved Animals for Import (I believe on page 32).

I found a few sites that I think will be helpful:

I hope this helps. I would love to hear what you decide upon and how the process goes for you! I used to have a Betta fish when I was a kid. Best of luck.

Lori Hughes

March 22, 2017

Hi Moana, love your article … thank you so much. I’m trying to find information about how to also move my Beta fish to Hawaii (Big Island) and so far not having much luck. Any suggestions/sites for information about how I can do this that you can recommend? I’d be grateful. Thank you!

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Lori,

It looks like you can either mail your fish or possibly carry it with you on the airplane if you would like to. I believe you will need an Import Permit and have to pay some fees. The Betta fish is on the List of Conditionally Approved Animals for Import (I believe on page 32).

I found a few sites that I think will be helpful:

I hope this helps. I would love to hear what you decide upon and how the process goes for you! I used to have a Betta fish when I was a kid. Best of luck.

Sandra K. Lynne

March 22, 2017

Hello, Moana. I’m reading through all your articles now. They are so helpful. I am planning a move to Hawaii in the spring of 2018. I am a planner so I am beginning my research now. Do you know if it’s possible for my dog to fly in the plane with me, in his own seat? I’d rather not have him in the cargo bay. Thanks.

Kelly Heiman

March 22, 2017

Aloha Sandra~
My name is Kelly Heiman and we offer the direct release program at our two clinics, West Maui Animal Clinic and Central Maui Animal Clinic. We release pets 7-days a week, 365 days a year, and the majority of the pets we release are now in-cabin. If you would like further information, I am happy to assist kelly@westmauianimalclinic.com or you can use our dedicated direct release line at 808-446-1521.
Moana is a pro too, so between the two of us, I am sure all your questions will be answered.
Mahalo!
Kelly

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Sandra,

I’m happy the guide was helpful to you. If you have a smaller dog, some airlines do allow you to fly with your pet in the cabin; however, it depends on several factors, and they usually require the animal to be in an airline-approved kennel under the seat in front of you.

It’s also good to know that they usually only allow a certain number of pets per flight. Planning well in advance is the best way to ensure your pet can fly in the cabin with you – as long as your selected airline approves it. You are wise for wanting your dog in the cabin, just know it’s not always a possibility.

For more on this topic, please see #5 of Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2014/07/faq-moving-pets-to-hawaii/.

Sandra K. Lynne

March 22, 2017

Hello, Moana. I’m reading through all your articles now. They are so helpful. I am planning a move to Hawaii in the spring of 2018. I am a planner so I am beginning my research now. Do you know if it’s possible for my dog to fly in the plane with me, in his own seat? I’d rather not have him in the cargo bay. Thanks.

Kelly Heiman

March 22, 2017

Aloha Sandra~
My name is Kelly Heiman and we offer the direct release program at our two clinics, West Maui Animal Clinic and Central Maui Animal Clinic. We release pets 7-days a week, 365 days a year, and the majority of the pets we release are now in-cabin. If you would like further information, I am happy to assist kelly@westmauianimalclinic.com or you can use our dedicated direct release line at 808-446-1521.
Moana is a pro too, so between the two of us, I am sure all your questions will be answered.
Mahalo!
Kelly

Moana Britt

March 22, 2017

Aloha Sandra,

I’m happy the guide was helpful to you. If you have a smaller dog, some airlines do allow you to fly with your pet in the cabin; however, it depends on several factors, and they usually require the animal to be in an airline-approved kennel under the seat in front of you.

It’s also good to know that they usually only allow a certain number of pets per flight. Planning well in advance is the best way to ensure your pet can fly in the cabin with you – as long as your selected airline approves it. You are wise for wanting your dog in the cabin, just know it’s not always a possibility.

For more on this topic, please see #5 of Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2014/07/faq-moving-pets-to-hawaii/.

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